The Best Restaurants In Silver Lake guide image


The Best Restaurants In Silver Lake

24 great restaurants in Silver Lake.

The golden hills of the trendy people are a very special place. Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers owns a Music Conservatory here, almost everything smells like Aesop soap, and the ghost of the happy foot/sad foot sign holds immense local superstition (RIP). In other words, Silver Lake is weird.

Luckily, this tiny, very hilly neighborhood also is overflowing with fantastic restaurants. Here’s our list to the best of them.


photo credit: Yasara Gunawardena


2711 Sunset Blvd. , Los Angeles
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Pijja Palace is a maximalist Indian sports bar that is, in the best way possible, Stimulation with a capital S. There are three giant flatscreen TVs on every wall, forcing you to stare directly into LeBron James' eyes until you merge souls. The dining room uses mid-century modern furniture and neon lights in a way that reminds us of a vintage arcade. And the food is just fun. Thin-crust pizzas come topped with saag gravy, stinger chiles, or baingan jawa fry, a deep-fried eggplant dish made with mustard oil. Wings are doused in masala and Kashmiri red chilis. And our favorite is a wonderful pasta—cheese and shells, brimming with saffron, parmesan, and Indian long pepper. It's our new go-to comfort dish. Come here to watch a game (duh), but also for casual hangs with friends when you need something fresh, pronto. 

Don’t kill the messenger, but when it comes to restaurants, Sunset Junction has become pretty sleepy lately. Bar Moruno is already starting to liven things up. The party-like energy at this upscale Spanish spot hits you the second you walk in—you’ll spot friends and coworkers hovering over round wooden tables eating canned fish and swapping today’s best drama and a walk-in only bar area that starts popping by 6:30pm every night. It’s the kind of place you might roll into on a weeknight for silky egg salad and pan con tomate, and accidentally stay for three hours because there’s an entire gin martini section on the menu. Bar Moruno is fun, a little kitschy, and feels as close to a tapas bar in Barcelona as you’ll get in LA. 

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photo credit: Jessie Clapp

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Omakase By Osen



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Despite having the word “omakase” in its name, the first thing you should know about this fun, casual sushi bar is that the omakase is not a required activity. You can easily come to this blonde wood-lined space on Sunset and order everything a la carte, which is good news if you aren’t up to dropping $150 per person on dinner. The daily nigiri, which generally land around $6 a piece, all come with fresh, thick cuts, and we loved the rich, hefty hand rolls filled with things like baked king crab, fried eggplant, and white fish with truffle. But the one dish that really leaves a mark is the miso crab salmon, which resides in the “cold signatures” section. Five giant clumps of snow crab are wrapped in salmon sashimi and drizzled with truffle oil and miso dressing. Is it silly and a bit over the top? Sure, but we’ll bet top dollar it’s what you’re talking about on the way home. 

If you’re someone who enjoys food trucks, mariscos, or eating sweet and spicy dishes in Silver Lake, then you will be very into Simón. The chef comes from a fine dining background in Oaxaca, which shines through various ceviches, barbacoa octopus tacos, and cochinita pibil served with pickled onions. If we had to pick a highlight it would be the aguachile negro, which comes with an inky black sauce that’s silky, a bit sweet, and properly punchy. We also love that Simón has its own refrigerated self-serve salsa cabinet. They offer five different housemade options and if you're not sure which one to try, the jar labels provide taco pairing suggestions.

This Vietnamese restaurant is the nightime alter ego of Silver Lake's All Day Baby, and if you arrived during the daytime, you might not have any idea it exists. But after trying inventive dishes like their fried red snapper served over spicy green curry, jidori chicken liver pâté, and chicken wings tossed in a smoky salsa macha, Tet-A-Tet might become your new go-to dinner option. This creative Vietnamese spot is casual, but still fun enough for a boozy friend hang or a date you actually want to last a while.

The Cubano at El Cochinito isn’t just the best in Silver Lake, or even the city - according to the International Cuban Sandwich Festival, it’s the best in the entire world. The family-run joint took first place in the Miami-based competition back in 2018 and hasn’t skipped a beat since then, consistently serving some of our favorite Cuban dishes in the city. You’ll want the pollo empanizado - breaded chicken breasts that have been pan-fried and hit with a hefty lime squeeze. You’ll also want the ropa vieja, that aforementioned sandwich, and definitely a tropical guanabana smoothie. What we’re trying to say is: bring a friend?

Right across the street from All Day Baby is El Ruso’s Silver Lake truck. Known for their excellent Sonora-style tacos and fluffy, handmade tortillas, not much has changed with the expansion, so get ready for cheese-encrusted vampiro tacos, red-hot birria that’s been stewed for hours, and their signature sobaqueras. The sobaqueras are approximately the size of a parachute and come stuffed with your choice of beans, tender chile colorado, or just your nose deeply inhaling the delicious scent.

Located in a bright-green building on Sunset, this Cantonese restaurant serves inventive dishes like salted egg yolk french toast and pork chop buns. Needle’s small menu of Hong Kong-inspired brunch food is available from 11-4pm, and between the tiny dining room and small sidewalk patio, they're only about a dozen tables in the whole restaurant. We like everything we've tried at Needle, but the must-order dish is the char siu bun. The pork collar patty is grilled over charcoal, glazed in honey, and then served on fluffy milk bread. All ordering is done from a tiny QR code at your table, and the covered sidewalk patio is the best spot to snack and hang out for as long as you want.

Meet Silver Lake’s king of the castle. Since L&E opened in 2012, like a hardworking backpacker climbing Mt. Fuji, this cozy neighborhood spot has slowly but surely made its way to the top of our list of restaurants in the area. Of course, the oysters are spectacular (creamy and briny, like someone hand-delivered them from the ocean), but they’ve also got a banging burger, cobb salad heavy with bacon bits, and a smoked fish dip that comes with crackers they made themselves. They’ve also taken over the sidewalk out front, there’s an upstairs space with a limited menu and Happy Hour specials, and everyone just generally seems happy to be here. We don’t know if there’s been a cosmic shift, a spell cast by a witch, or just our own ignorance, but if you’re not eating here, you’re not really dining out in Silver Lake.

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this American comfort food restaurant lives up to its name. You’ll find them in a bright-red building on Sunset Blvd., slinging hot catfish sandwiches and breakfast burritos the size of newborn babies in the morning then oyster pot pies and NY strip steaks at night. They also offer special dessert orders, like whole chocolate pudding pies, cinnamon rolls slathered with labneh frosting, and banana bread loaves - like we said, they really do it all.

The team behind Los Angeles taquero legend, Guisados, opened a mariscos restaurant on Sunset Blvd. Although the menu here is pretty compact, you still have a good number of options - flour or corn tortillas, shrimp or fish tacos, whether to rip into the bag as soon as it’s ready or wait until you get to the table like a civilized person, etc. Both shrimp and fish tacos are beer-battered to perfection, made with a proper crunch, and their seafood-packed campechana is the ideal snack to have while strolling around the neighborhood.

We first became obsessed with LaSorted’s brick-oven pizza in 2020, during their limited run as a pop-up. These days, you’ll find them at a takeout window in Silver Lake, a space they share with one of our favorite bakeries, Gemini Bakeshop. Maybe it’s the new brick-and-mortar digs, or the power that comes with being so close to Dodger Stadium, but the latest iteration of LaSorted's (like Lasorda, get it?) has earned a place in the LA pizza pantheon as well as our stomachs. The crust is perfectly chewy and bubbly, and toppings range from burrata to artichoke pesto to giardiniera. Our top pick is the “Spicy, But Oh, So Sweet Boy,” a version of the now-ubiquitous pepperoni and hot honey combo set off with Fresno chiles and fresh garlic.

For decades, this counter-service cafe has been serving Cuban coffee, pastelitos, and sandwiches on Sunset Blvd. And the only thing that changed after the El Cochinito team took over in 2019 was the pastel paint job. You can still drop by as early as 7am for a strong cortadito, blueberry coconut bun, or the cafe’s signature pastry: a guava cheese turnover. It comes with a deep golden crust with tiny specks of guava paste bursting out from the flaky dough. It’s creamy, sweet, slightly tart, and our ideal way to start the day.

We’ve seen this neighborhood Italian restaurant go through more ups and downs than the plot of a rom-com. Currently, they’ve moved past the honeymoon phase (best restaurant in the area, reinventing pasta, etc.), and have settled into a more comfortable position - over the past year or two, they’ve scaled back their menu a lot, removing things like scallop crudo, Calabrian pork ribs, and tortellini relaxing in bone broth, leaving us with a compact list of their greatest hits. Which, of course, are still pretty good - that braised sugo radiatori should win some sort of award - but overall, they’ve relaxed into the Nice Neighborhood Restaurant territory.

Eating at Ceviche Project feels like dropping into a Miami club in the ’80s - it’s tropical, there’s flair, and you’re definitely going to have fun. Grab a seat at the marble bar and enjoy vibrant scallops off the half shell, tai snapper ceviche, and their kanpachi tostada - a stunning dish topped with so much trout roe, yellowfish, and avocado cream, it almost reaches all the way to heaven.

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Between chorizo burgers, pork belly bánh mì, slow-roasted pork shank, and an immensely crunchy lechon kawali, this Filipino restaurant goes the whole hog on, well, hog. Each dish shines in its own way, like adobe belly nigiri showered in furikake and chives, or Spoon & Pork’s signature dish, the deep-fried patita. Doused in garlic vinegar then served over fragrant jasmine rice, this massive pork shank is big enough for two - even if that’s just you and yourself the morning after.

Since its inception back in the 1960s, Casita Del Campo has remained one of the most reliable places in Silver Lake to have a good time. The classic Mexican restaurant - and historic queer nightlife institution - serves a wide-ranging menu of enchiladas, burritos, sizzling fajitas plates, and margaritas so strong, they should come with an FDA warning. They’ve also transformed their parking lot into a beautiful, expansive patio, complete with brightly colored potted plants, string lights overhead, and more than enough space for birthday parties.

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We’re as tired as you of this whole “NYC vs. The Rest of the World” debate when it comes to bagel-making, so we’ll skip straight to the point: Maury’s bakes a damn good bagel. Operating out of a red-brick building in a more residential part of Silver Lake, this takeout-only spot serves bagels that are pliable and chewy, plus a whole bunch of cured fish options for every breakfast aficionado in your friend group. The buttery black cod goes perfectly with cream cheese, there’s a $22 version piled high with lox and wasabi tobiko, as well as a traditional smoked salmon bagel sandwich that’s satisfyingly simple.

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In May 2022, Night + Market Song officially reopened after a year-long hiatus. The second location of the massively popular Thai joint might not have the party-time setting and beer towers like its original Sunset Strip locale, but its kitschy feel is the perfect match for Silver Lake. This is some of the finest Thai food in the city, in a casual setting suited for almost anything, just be sure to order the larb and plenty of natural wine to wash it all down.

Whenever we’re feeling nutrient-deprived and haven’t closed a ring on our fitness tracker in, like, forever, we head to Botanica. Located in a big, bright space on Silver Lake Blvd., a meal here feels like dining in a highly-curated Instagram feed in the best way possible. It’s life but as we wish we lived it all the time, where light streams in from the windows, gorgeous melons are sprinkled with feta and just-picked mint leaves, and crudite platters look as if constructed by Michelangelo.

A very not-boring wine bar, Same Same also serves really excellent Thai food. Located in a no-name stripmall along Sunset, Same Same has a solid wine list (that goes great with spicy food), a lively space full of people who aren’t whispering in corners, and a khao soi you’ll dream about for days afterward.

If you like the idea of scooping hummus behind a charming yellow cottage, head to Bowery Bungalow. The charming patio at this broadly Mediterranean restaurant looks like it was made to host a wedding reception. The cement walls are covered in vines, candles glow on every table, and there’s a small flight of stairs leading up to a string-lit gazebo. So take a date here when you want to look like you’re trying, but not too hard. You can have some tahini toast with toasted sukkah, baby back ribs with grape molasses, and drink a little too much wine before asking about your date’s insecurities.

Freedman’s, the popular Jewish comfort food spot in Silver Lake has transformed into Greekman's. Instead of reubens and latkes, the menu is all Greek food and there’s a new white and blue-painted front patio adorned with wood floors and a lot of fake leaves. Order the crispy zucchini chips, smoked cauliflower and labne, and correctly advertised “very lemony” potatoes.

A lot of newer Izakayas cropping up around town are doing a more American-influenced take on Japanese cuisine. Not Osen. This tavern keeps things super traditional, with wood panels, servers in kimonos, and grill smoke that will not leave your clothes for a few hours. Food-wise, they’re doing great, affordable yakitori skewers and sushi. If you want to eat a dinner that doesn’t look like your last eight restaurant outings, come to Osen.

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